“Kvachiada” in Rustaveli Theatre

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Gocha Kapanadze


Mikheil Javakhishvili wrote “Kvachi Kvachantiradse” in 1924. Manifoldness of the novel determined its popularity and interest of Georgian theatre. After the novel, Mikheil Javakhishvili wrote five-act play, entitled “Iveriumi”. The main character was Kvaci again. The play represented the continuation of the novel. “Kvachoba” turned into hard shape, which was contacted with the meanings of fake, adventure, immorality. In 1927, when they were going to stage “Iverium” at Rustaveli theatre, there were three plays on the theme of Kvachi in the repertoire already: “American uncle” and “Sovietized Uncle”, by Mikheil Shiukashvili and “Kvachi Kvachantiradse”, dramaturgy by Shalva Dadiani. Because of this reason “Iverium” by Mikheil Javakhishvili was delayed for the next season.

In November 13, 1927, was heled the premiere of “American uncle”, by mikheil Shiukashvili, staged by Sandro Akhmetely. One main factor was risky for both authors: Nikoloz Shiukashvili and Mikheil Javakhishvili: Kvachi was acting in the Bolshevik Georgia and was shaping as a new type of Bolshevik swindler. This could not be overlooked by party nomenclature and it seemed that because of this the problems have arisen.

In December 8, 1927, was held the premiere of the second play by Nikoloz Shiukashvili “Sovietized Uncle”. In January 4, 1928, on the session of the repertoire council of Rustaveli Theatre the following was announced: one of the governing bodies removed the performance from the stage. This governing body (KKB) had already made decision to vanish all the plays about Kvachi’s theme from the repertoire. They forbade newly staged performance “Sovietized Uncle”, (the play script is lost), “Iveriumi” was banned to be staged and thus was not staged (the play script is lost) and after the eight-month rehearsal (93 rehearsals on the whole) work on Shalva Dadiani’s dramaturgy was terminated. (The play script of which is also lost).

The novel by Mihkeil Javakhishvili shook the country. The boom of “Kvaciada”, which started in Rustaveli theatre, became the dangerous event in the Sovietized Georgia. That is why the Bolshevik regime passed an unfair verdict towards the performance and towards the plays. It was the start of the Red terror. In ten years Mikheil Javakhishvili was also sentenced by “this body” with fatal verdict.

Published: Apr 20, 2017

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University PHD Prorgam